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May 3 Primary Election Audit Results are Complete: Ohio's County Boards of Elections Report a 99.9% Accuracy Rate

Today, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced that upon the completion of Ohio’s county boards of elections’ post May 3 primary audits, the accuracy rate for the Ohio Primary Election was 99.9%, keeping with the remarkable accuracy of every election administered under Secretary LaRose’s watch.

Unlike other states, Ohio requires its county boards of elections to audit election results after every election. In doing so, Ohio’s professional, bipartisan boards of elections are instilling confidence in Ohio voters who are driven to participate in our democratic system because they recognize the election results are fair, accurate and impregnable. County board audits are conducted transparently and voters are welcome to observe the process and learn more about how accessible and secure Ohio elections are run.

“The remarkable heavy lifting that Ohio’s county boards of elections have done over the past two years should never be taken for granted,” said Secretary LaRose. “Amid uncertainties brought on by covid, lockdowns, and the shifting tides of redistricting litigation, Ohio’s boards of elections continue to rise to any occasion and deliver excellence to Ohio voters. Ohio is a diverse state and each of 88 county boards faced different challenges, yet all of them delivered on a successful, remarkably accurate May 3 primary. Ohioans should thank the friends and neighbors among them who serve as precinct officials for their patriotic service to our state and democracy.”

The audit included 86 of Ohio 88 counties. Mercer and Seneca Counties were not included in the audit because both counties are currently conducting recounts on county wide races.

A post-election audit is a comprehensive review of the election results to ensure that the results reported by the boards of elections are accurate. The county boards compare the voting machine tabulation to the hardcopy paper trail record to ensure fidelity between the two.

Ohio counties can utilize one of two types of audits – a percentage-based or a risk-limiting audit --both widely considered as reliable ways to determine the accuracy of the results. For the May 3 primary, 86 of Ohio’s counties performed percentage-based audits, while Cuyahoga and Hamilton performed risk-limiting audits.

Ohio percentage based audit: board of elections selects units to be audited (precincts, polling locations or individual machines) and randomly selects sufficient units to ensure review of 5% of the total votes cast for the county. At least three contests as follows: 1) top of the ticket, 2) statewide race selected at random by Secretary, and 3) at least one non-statewide race selected by the board of elections. The audit of voted ballots will reinforce accuracy and security of the voting system. Risk-limiting audit. Ballots are randomly selected based on statistical sampling using two key factors: margin of victory for the audited contest(s) and risk limit. At least three contests as follows: 1) top of the ticket, 2) statewide race selected at random by Secretary, and 3) at least one non-statewide race selected by the board of elections. Provides strong statistical evidence that the reported winner is the winner and that the loser is the loser.

A link to the post-election audit spreadsheet may be found on the 2022 Official Election Results webpage.

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Rob Nichols
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